Help! I Can't Get My Son To Read!
There are many theories surrounding this; multiple studies have researched and analyzed the possible biological and/or sociological factors which cause females to (again, generally speaking) excel in reading over their male counterparts. According to guysread.com, a website devoted to motivating boys to read and founded by author Jon Scieszka, some of the common theories affecting boys and reading are:
-that boys tend to learn in a competitive-based style which hinders their ability to learn their reading and writing skills
-that many books boys are asked to read simply don't appeal to them, and they are not motivated enough to read them.
-that society tends to teach boys to suppress their emotions, and are therefore often uncomfortable with exploring fiction books as they tend to bring about a reader's emotions and feelings.
But do not fret moms and dads, as there is an upside to these studies! Regardless of whether the reasons are biologically-based, or whether they are socially-inflicted through their environment, research shows that boys will read - if they are given something that interests them.
What is the best way to find out what books your picky son will enjoy? Bring them to the library! Let them wander the children's section and select whatever material they find interesting; whether that be comics, magazines, graphic novels or non-fiction books. Once they start, for example, reading a comic book, eventually you can attempt to introduce a graphic novel; then perhaps a fiction book with a superhero element to it. Or if they start reading a non-fiction book on grossology (the 'science' of everything gross), then you can eventually try to introduce popular titles and series that deal with toilet-humor such as Walter the Farting Dog.
It is vital to encourage and not to discourage your child, male or female, when it comes to reading for pleasure. Even if they were to choose a book that is below their reading level, it is more important that they read than not. Check out guysread.com for tips on how to gently encourage your picky reader to select books at their reading level, and for some great book suggestions here.
In the meantime, here are a few titles for children ages 6 and under that appeal to boys. Click on the image to place a hold at your local branch:
And to all the dads, and older brothers out there; if you really want to encourage your son or younger brother to read, then be a literacy role model! Spend some time reading with your picky reader, and let them see and experience their real-life heroes enjoying a good book before bedtime.
Until next time, Happy reading! :)